Last night I arrived in NYC and a few hours later attended the first of seven shows to which I have tickets.
The show was “Fiddler on the Roof” sung in Yiddish and directed byJoel Gray. More than one tear was shed as the story unfolded itself and each tear surprised me!
First the cast was for the most part young, energetic, and talented. I envied them being in a Broadway musical.
Then the story of a people who through no fault of their own, just because they were Jewish, were shunned, attacked, and eventually forced to move from the home, their homeland just for being who they were.
So unfair yet they accepted their fate with dignity and continued hope for a better future. They believed that their God had his reasons which helped them survive. Family was the most important part of their life. And tradition!
Being Jewish is something I do not too often express and or live out, but for some reason this production of Fiddler, especially because it was sung and spoken entirely in Yiddish was amazingly moving. I once again realized how strongly I identify with my heritage, history, and tenants (for the most part) of the Jewish religion, even though I do not formally practice the religion.
While I have become who I am based in part of my being raised Jewish, I have little connection the religion or with family for that matter. I regret this but also know that it is what I have chosen and fulfills other parts of who I am.
It is a trade off and as I get older the regrets surface more strongly if only because there are fewer and fewer of my family left living to me. I am also aware that the regrets come from the fantasy of what family could and should be and often despite this, what it is not.
Another reason the musical moved me was because of my being Gay. For so many years, I was not accepted for who I was/am. I had to address and create my own milestones since I had stepped outside the social norm.
A tear was shed that I was not able to celebrate openly my love for Gregory and not able to profess that love to family and friends at a formal wedding celebration. And now I can only celebrate him as a memory.
Most often when attending a Broadway Musical, I come home depressed because I the fantasy of wanting to be part of that world, to be young and talented, to be able to express my life in music and song, to begin my life at 8:00 each evening (2:00 of there is a matinee) and to know what will happen with each light cue or dialogue presentation. This has been a fantasy since I can remember.
Fiddler, sung in Yiddish, depressed me and moved me and celebrated me in ways that surprised me ... all in a good way!
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